Administrative Reviews

Administrative Reviews for School Year 2019-2020


MDE must conduct Administrative Reviews of all School Food Authorities (SFA) participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program at least once during each three-year review cycle period, provided that each SFA is reviewed at least once every 4 years. The second three-year review cycle began in school year (SY) 2016-17.

The Administrative Review has an Off-site Assessment and an On-site Assessment/Visit. The Off-Site Assessment includes a phone interview with MDE and the SFA, and a review of documents by MDE. The On-site Assessment/Visit includes meal observations and a documentation review. The purpose of the Off-Site Assessment is to allow MDE to gain a better understanding of a school’s operations prior to the On-Site Assessment/Review, thus providing for a more robust on-site review while decreasing MDE’s on-site review time. The on-site portion of the Administrative Review is intended to validate the information collected off-site and provide an opportunity for MDE to observe the operation of the school nutrition program at selected sites. The objectives of the new Administrative Review are the same as the former CRE and SMI objectives: determine whether the school meets program requirements; provide technical assistance; secure any needed corrective action; and assess fiscal action, if applicable. Administrative Reviews are conducted by School Nutrition Program Analysts in assigned territories.


The Administrative Review Resource Guide contains links to USDA and MDE webpages to help SFAs prepare for the Administrative Review and includes resources for each area of review: Meal Access and Reimbursement, Nutritional Quality and Meal Pattern and General Areas of Review. 

Administrative Review Webinar - Day 1

Administrative Review Webinar - Day 2

Administrative Review Webinar - Day 3


Meal Access and Reimbursement

Certification and Benefit Issuance

USDA Eligibility Manual for School Meals

Direct Certification Resources



School Meal Eligibility


Meal Counting and Claiming

Counting and Claiming resources

Nutritional Quality and Meal Pattern

CN Label Verification Report

Meal Components and Quantities

National School Lunch Program Resources and Guidance

School Breakfast Program Resources and Guidance

Meal Component Tools

Meal Component Tool Preparation Video

Meal Component Tool Demonstration Video

Production Record guidance and resources  

Offer versus Serve

Offer vs Serve manual

Search for signage at the Team Nutrition Resource Library


Dietary Specifications and Nutrient Analysis


1. Purchasing Considerations to Limit Saturated Fat, Sodium and Trans Fat

4. Portion Control All Cheese Offerings

11. Canned Fruit Options

12. Grain-Based Desserts Limited to 2oz. eq. Per Week For Lunch

13. Grain-Based Desserts for Breakfast

19. Important Use of Standardized Recipes

20. Using Appropriate Meal Pattern For Each Age/Grade/Group

21. Extra, Non-Reimbursable Items Offered (Not Including Smart Snacks)

22. Portion Control For All Condiments

25. Offering Larger Portions or Bonus Items

Saturated Fat

2. Types of Milk Options Offered For Reimbursable Meals

3. Types of Milk Options Offered Including Yogurt and Cottage Cheese

6. Fat Content of Dressings and Condiments

15.  Using Oil in Recipes as a Healtier Option

16. Fat Considerations While Cooking Meats

17. Avoid Using a Deep Fat Fryer

18. Adding Butter or Margarine While Preparing Vegetables

23. Offering Students Butter or Margarine During Meal Service


5. Using Non-Creditable Cheese Products

7. Using Lower or Reduced-Sodium Soup and Broths

8. Canned Vegetable Options

9. Items on Self-Serve Salad Bars

10. Breakfast and Lunch Meats

14. Using Seasonings (Herbs and Spices) as Salt Alternatives

24. Salt Availability 

USDA Nutrition Standards for School Meals


General Program Compliance

Resource Management - Reviewed separately

Procurement – Reviewed separately

Civil Rights Resources

SFA On-site Monitoring

Local School Wellness Policy

Smart Snacks

Professional Standards Resources

Food Safety


Reporting and Recordkeeping

Program records must be maintained for a period of three years after submission of the final Claim for Reimbursement for the fiscal year. If audit findings have not been resolved, the three-year period is extended as long as required for resolution of audit issues. Records include but are not limited to:

  • Agreements and free/reduced-price policy statements

  • Approved and denied free and reduced-price meal applications

  • Procedures and documentation for direct certification for free meals

  • Procedures for alternate (POS) Point of Service locations

  • Claims for Reimbursement (including supporting documentation)

  • Verification records

  • Description of verification efforts

  • Documentation of verification

  • Results of verification

  • Verification reports

  • Meal count participation data by school

  • Documentation of edit checks, on-site reviews, internal controls, October enrollment, free and reduced-price eligible data

  • Menu and food production records

  • Nutrient analysis records

  • Resource Management documentation

  • Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) Tool

  • Revenue from non-program foods

  • Documentation associated with Local School Wellness Policy

  • Food Safety and HACCP Documentation

  • Number of food safety inspections obtained per school year by each school

  • Records from the food safety program for a period of 6 months following a month’s temperature records

  • Records from the most recent food safety inspection

  • Documents demonstrating compliance with Civil Rights requirements

  • Audit reports, written responses and any corrective action


School Breakfast Program and Summer Food Service Program Outreach

SBP Resources and Guidance – outreach 3x/year

SFSP Resources and Guidance – at least 1x end of school year

SFSP site locator


Other Federal Program Reviews (Critical and General Areas)

After School Snack Program

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

Special Milk/Summer Camp Special Milk Program


Community Eligibility Provision

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)